1. 'Canon compliant' is a hot button topic in Harry Potter fandom (thanks to all the 'After-Book Specials' JKR is hosting). What is your definition?
If it's not in the books, it's all hot air (unless it's cool, in which case I'll snag on it immediately).
2. Has fanfic influenced your writing? If yes, was it a particular story you can name for us?
Everything that I read influences my writing – I mean, I write about signs I read on public transport. *g*
Up until my mid-thirties, I wrote socio-political sci-fi semi-professionally, then my career took over my life for the next ten years or so and I stopped writing. I started reading slash fanfic a year or two after I stopped writing – I have a huge 'zine collection, very heavy on Man From U.N.C.L.E. and The Professionals (I still sing praises to the outstanding classic writers of the Pros fandom – just effing amazing). I discovered internet fanfic during the second season of due South – I thought that Ray Vecchio and Ben had the most intense chemistry and was overjoyed when I found due South slash online. I found HP slash when I was trolling through Graculus's recs (I'd exhausted all of the interesting fandoms that she recc'ed, so I shrugged my shoulders and said to myself, "why not?" when she started listing HP). I was immediately hooked by Snarry, lurked for years and years, and then, weirdly, got a gen plotbunny from one of PJ's prompts on Omniocular and started writing fanfic in the fall of 2006. I was so rusty that I feel like I've had to re-learn everything I ever knew. I'm still in the process of trying to develop a strong fanfic style and voice. So no, no particular story, though I deeply admire many HP writers and try to learn from their work.
3. What element(s) about the relationship between Snape and Harry do you find most intriguing?
The passion. The anger. The respective intelligence of each, though they manifest it in much different ways. Ditto the courage and fierce underlying loyalty.
4. How would Severus Snape find your team mascot most useful?
The obvious answer is "as potions parts". However, it wouldn't surprise me if Snape were to carry Dumbledore's treatise on the twelve uses of Dragon's Blood to about, say, forty or so.
5. What would you consider your greatest strength in writing?
My plotting. Then maybe my characterization.
6. Is there something your beta(s) constantly catch you doing?
God, I hope not. They can probably answer that better than I, but honestly, I try to learn from my mistakes and not duplicate them time after time. Mostly, these days my betas try to challenge me to dig deeper into my characterizations and keep the plotline clean.
Though I still have problems with discreet/discrete.
7. Have you ever collaborated/partnered with another author or artist? If yes, please describe it for us. If no, would you consider it?
I doubt I could collaborate with another writer – I've tried, just as a part of writing exercises, and it just didn't click for me. However, I often work from visual concepts and would absolutely love to collaborate with an artist. I paint in acrylics, so for me the challenge of shifting between visual and literary interpretations would be absolutely fascinating. And btw, when I use the word "collaborate," I don't mean illustrating a story that's been written already, or writing about an image that one's seen – I mean, two minds creating a shared set of imagery, themes, perspectives, symbols, etc. that are interwoven so closely that the writing becomes a vision and the art sings the characters and story. Yeah. I'd really like to do that. Particularly with an artist with a powerful style.
8. Now that canon is complete, do you find it more freeing or less when it comes to writing or enjoying fanfic/fanart?
More freeing. Absolutely. Nothing can be taken away anymore.
9. In your opinion, what kind of kink/theme does fandom need more of?
Erotic biting. I don't know what it is about teeth, but I'm all over them. There's been a lot more wall!sex lately, so I don't want to sound greedy for more, though more never hurts. Hmm. I like the contrast of playing with intense, opposite sensations like hot and cold – the use of ice and wax are really erotic. Anal beads and Ben Wa balls are cool, too – it seems like dildos, plugs and vibrators are the HP fanfic sex toys of choice, but there are so many more to play with.
10. How do you feel about participating in this year's Snarry Games?
Deeply honored. Team Dragon is amazing, the Dragon/Phoenix concept is brilliant and the Games themselves – well, no pressure, but they produce the best of the best Snarry fanfic written. I only hope that I can perform to the standards of Team Dragon's obviously superior talent. Since we're going to win and all. *g*